Friday 28 April 2017
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Rana Daggubati
In the first part, we were told that Amarendra Baahubali won over Kalakeya and Rajamata Sivagami declared him as the emperor to be sworn in. We were also told that Amarendra Baahubali would eventually be killed by Kattappa. This story begins when Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas) is about to take the crown.
Sivagami orders him to visit the countryside to find out the people's problems before swearing-in ceremony takes place. He and Kattappa (Sathya Raj) go on a tour in disguise. When they reach Kuntala kingdom, they happen to see Deva Sena (Anushka) the princess. Amarendra falls in love with her. In a turn of events that were initiated by evil Bhallala Deva, Sivagami makes Bhallala as new emperor and asks Amarendra and his wife Deva Sena to leave the palace.
Although Amarendra questions her unjustified methods, he agrees to leave the palace as per his mother's instructions. What made her send away her beloved son Amarendra away and what made Kattappa kill Baahubali forms the crux of this movie.
Baahubali 2 is final part of Rajamouli's epic drama Baahubali The Beginning that collected more than Rs 600 Cr worldwide. The first part ended on a cliffhanger with Kattappa, the trusted aide, killing Amarendra Baahubali, the king. Why did Kattappa Kill Baahubali became a widely discussed topic in India since the release of the movie. The final and conclusive part focuses on Shivudu's quest to find the answer to this question.
The first part was a visual spectacle. It left the audiences wanting to know the answers to many intriguing plot points and got them glued to the seats as never-before-seen visual graphics were showcased. So, naturally the second part should put stress on giving answers to them. But Rajamouli has shown his mastery over screenplay here as he has told another full-length story at the same time revealing the answers. While he begins the story with the love thread of Prabhas and Anushka, he also unravels the evil side of Rana.
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Sivagami's ego is hurt and she feels her pride is undermined when fearless Anushka questions her. These sequences add a lot of energy to the drama. The highlight of the story comes with Amarendra Baahubali questioning his mother's judgment. The scene where Prabhas beheads a guy in the courtroom of palace provides gives goose-bumps. The interval bang gives an high!
So, the first half of this second part of the movie holds interest with its racy narration and the many new elements in the movie along with the regular romantic sequences between Prabhas and Anushka and the comedy sequences. But Bhallaladeva and his father's schemes that turn the course of the story keeps you engrossed and it also provides scenes of Rajamouli's trademark heroism. The interval-bang is a classic example.
The second half also goes on smoothly till the revealing point of what prompted Kattappa to kill Baahubali. Thereafter, it loses the steam. The reason itself is quite predictable, many would have guessed this. And when Shivudu who is son of Amarendra Baahubali comes into the scene towards the climax, the story turns into a drama of vendetta. When you mask off these grandeur visuals, deceit and historical setup, what we get is a simple plot line - a son (Shivudu) taking vengeance of his father's (Baahubali) death. As simple as that! But it is the narration, the setup, the ambition and the scale have made the film a big franchise.
This time Rajamouli has stressed more on emotional quotient unlike in the first part. This is his core strength. Hence, he has excelled in those parts. But unlike in the first part, the visual imagery here doesn't make us forget about the rest. In fact, I personally felt many of the visual effects are not up to the standards set by Rajamouli in the first part.
Some visuals gives us a feel of not being rendered properly. Also the fight sequence with Pandari's don't give clarity whether it is happening during night or day as visuals are bright. Even the so-called gigantic elephant that is shown in the trailer is there on the screen only for a few seconds. The graphics made us feel like... yeah they are visual effects but not as near-real.
Children and action-lovers would enjoy the long-drawn action episodes. But I felt the final action episode (though the war technique of using palm trees and soldiers flying like saucers using shields are unique) as tiresome for two reasons - one it is quite predictable, two it is too lengthy.
Prabhas is the soul of the movie, he looks like a royal king in the role of Amarendra Baahubali. He has undergone various body transformations for this movie to look lean in some scenes, bulky in war sequences. There is not much to do as Shivudu. Prabhas has excelled in the role of Amarendra. He is at his best. He is excellent in all scenes.
Anushka looks beautiful. As Deva Sena, she steals the show. Her confrontational scenes with Ramya Krishna are the best. Rana as Bhallaladeva has shown his beastly side. This is his most memorable character too. There is nothing to fault with his performance. Nasser is excellent. You get joy when he gives devilish expressions. He has clearly enjoyed doing this. Sathya Raj gets more footage and he is seen all through the movie. He is superb. Ramya Krishna is good too. Subbaraju has tried to provide comedy but the comedy scenes are boring.
The film belongs to the technicians. Excellent cinematographer Senthil Kumar has come up with extraordinary work. He has already shown his exceptional skills in first part. Background score is excellent. Keeravani's songs are boring. Sound design of the movie is exceptionally good.
As we have seen in the first part, production designer Sabu Cyril stuns with his work. We have seen his work of creating Mahishmati empire earlier and here we get to see the Kuntala beauty.
As director and screenplay writer, S S Rajamouli has once again come up with a blockbuster material.
Baahubali The Conclusion like the first part is an example of a film made with high technical imagery. The final part is also epic in its scale and ambition and is racy. The answer to "Why Kattappa Killed Baahubali?" is told in the second half but the movie has many highlights. It is a film made with sentiment sequences and heroism-elevating scenes. But the material also has many flaws, which will be noticed more once the dust settles down. Despite these flaws (weak romance/lengthy fights, tad predictable climax), the film gives total entertainment and reinforces Rajamouli's supremacy in telling stories with visual effects. Watch it.
Baahubali 2 review: 3.5 stars
Prabhas on acting in Bollywood, wedding plans and 'Baahubali 2'